Mortality is never a pleasant notion to ponder, but as it is one of life's absolutes, spending just a few hours to consider your final wishes could spare your loved ones the dual agony of coping with your loss whilst trying to plan — and pay for — your funeral. Making the arrangements for a funeral or service can be overwhelming, particularly if those doing the planning aren't entirely sure what your wishes are.
That's why it's helpful to put some thought into what you want to happen after you pass away. When considering your funeral or memorial, ask yourself these questions:
It's your life, so why shouldn't you be the one to determine how you want that life to be remembered?
- Do you want to be buried or cremated?
- How and where do you want your remains to rest?
- Is there a particular cemetery you have in mind to inter your casket or your ashes?
- If you'd prefer cremation, is there someplace meaningful where you'd like your ashes spread?
- What type of memorial — if any — would you like placed with your remains?
- Is there any meaningful scripture or words you'd like inscribed on your memorial?
- Where would you like your funeral or memorial service to be held?
- Have you thought of what you'd like your memorial/funeral service to be like?
- Is there a friend or family member you'd like to deliver the eulogy?
- What about religious aspects?
- Would you like a specific priest or rabbi to preside over the service, and are there any religious death-related obligations to which you'd like your family and friends to adhere?
- Do you have long-distance friends or family you'd like to ensure are notified so that they may attend your service? Is there anyone you don't want to attend?
- Have you given any thought to how you plan to pay for these services?
- Do you have any funds set aside to pay for your final expenses?
If you're just now thinking of these things, odds are that your loved ones are entirely in the dark when it comes to these crucial questions. You can, however, make things far easier for your family and friends when this difficult time inevitably arrives by performing what's called pre-need or final expense planning. These plans allow you to make the decisions when it comes to your final arrangements, ensuring you'll get precisely what you want while eliminating additional strain for those who will be grieving. A good way to approach your final expense planning is to: 1) speak to a professional funeral planner to discuss your desires as well as get an idea of what your plan will cost, and 2) take this information to your financial planner, insurance advisor or agent to discuss the purchase of a certain type of life insurance — final expense insurance — that will be large enough to cover your final arrangements.
The average cost for a funeral runs somewhere around $8,500, and oftentimes, this figure does not include other services, such as a burial, an urn or even a hearse. This is why speaking to your advisor about including final expense insurance in your estate plan is so imperative. There a plenty of benefits to owning a final expense policy, not the least of which is its very affordable price — and peace of mind. What's more:
- As a type of whole life insurance, your premiums are guaranteed never to increase.
- The cash value may also grow over time.
- You can elect the right amount of coverage for you, often from as little as $1,000 to $25,000.
- The cash benefit can be paid either to your heirs, a specific funeral home or cemetery, or any combination thereof.
- If funds are left over after covering your final expenses, the remaining cash benefit goes to your heirs, which they can use to pay down any of your credit or health care bills, make payments on a mortgage, or simply to keep for themselves.
It's your life, so why shouldn't you be the one to determine how you want that life to be remembered? Contact your advisor or agent for more information on buying this affordable and meaningful coverage as a stand-alone policy or to supplement your current life insurance. Your loved ones will thank you for it.
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